Essays on Giordano Bruno

Princeton University Press
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This book gathers wide-ranging essays on the Italian Renaissance philosopher and cosmologist Giordano Bruno by one of the world's leading authorities on his work and life. Many of these essays were originally written in Italian and appear here in English for the first time. Bruno (1548-1600) is principally famous as a proponent of heliocentrism, the infinity of the universe, and the plurality of worlds. But his work spanned the sciences and humanities, sometimes touching the borders of the occult, and Hilary Gatti's essays richly reflect this diversity.

The book is divided into sections that address three broad subjects: the relationship between Bruno and the new science, the history of his reception in English culture, and the principal characteristics of his natural philosophy. A final essay examines why this advocate of a "tranquil universal philosophy" ended up being burned at the stake as a heretic by the Roman Inquisition. While the essays take many different approaches, they are united by a number of assumptions: that, although well versed in magic, Bruno cannot be defined primarily as a Renaissance Magus; that his aim was to articulate a new philosophy of nature; and that his thought, while based on ancient and medieval sources, represented a radical rupture with the philosophical schools of the past, helping forge a path toward a new modernity.

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About the author

Hilary Gatti taught for many years at the University of Rome, La Sapienza. Her books include Giordano Bruno and Renaissance Science and The Renaissance Drama of Knowledge: Giordano Bruno in England. She is also the editor of Giordano Bruno: Philosopher of the Renaissance.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Oct 18, 2010
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Pages
376
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ISBN
9781400836932
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Social History
Philosophy / History & Surveys / Medieval
Science / History
Science / Philosophy & Social Aspects
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Europe's long sixteenth century—a period spanning the years roughly from the voyages of Columbus in the 1490s to the English Civil War in the 1640s—was an era of power struggles between avaricious and unscrupulous princes, inquisitions and torture chambers, and religious differences of ever more violent fervor. Ideas of Liberty in Early Modern Europe argues that this turbulent age also laid the conceptual foundations of our modern ideas about liberty, justice, and democracy.

Hilary Gatti shows how these ideas emerged in response to the often-violent entrenchment of monarchical power and the fragmentation of religious authority, against the backdrop of the westward advance of Islam and the discovery of the New World. She looks at Machiavelli's defense of republican political liberty, and traces how liberty became intertwined with free will and religious pluralism in the writings of Luther, Erasmus, Jean Bodin, and Giordano Bruno. She examines how the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre and the clash of science and religion gave rise to concepts of liberty as freedom of thought and expression. Returning to Machiavelli and moving on to Jacques Auguste de Thou, Paolo Sarpi, and Milton, Gatti delves into debates about the roles of parliamentary government and a free press in guaranteeing liberties.

Drawing on a breadth of canonical and lesser-known writings, Ideas of Liberty in Early Modern Europe reveals how an era stricken by war and injustice gave birth to a more enlightened world.

Europe's long sixteenth century—a period spanning the years roughly from the voyages of Columbus in the 1490s to the English Civil War in the 1640s—was an era of power struggles between avaricious and unscrupulous princes, inquisitions and torture chambers, and religious differences of ever more violent fervor. Ideas of Liberty in Early Modern Europe argues that this turbulent age also laid the conceptual foundations of our modern ideas about liberty, justice, and democracy.

Hilary Gatti shows how these ideas emerged in response to the often-violent entrenchment of monarchical power and the fragmentation of religious authority, against the backdrop of the westward advance of Islam and the discovery of the New World. She looks at Machiavelli's defense of republican political liberty, and traces how liberty became intertwined with free will and religious pluralism in the writings of Luther, Erasmus, Jean Bodin, and Giordano Bruno. She examines how the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre and the clash of science and religion gave rise to concepts of liberty as freedom of thought and expression. Returning to Machiavelli and moving on to Jacques Auguste de Thou, Paolo Sarpi, and Milton, Gatti delves into debates about the roles of parliamentary government and a free press in guaranteeing liberties.

Drawing on a breadth of canonical and lesser-known writings, Ideas of Liberty in Early Modern Europe reveals how an era stricken by war and injustice gave birth to a more enlightened world.

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